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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for an excellent DIY Speaker Cable design. The latest one I am looking at is the VenHaus CAT5.


Are there better ones out there that you have tried?


What do you think of his design?


Thanks.
 

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I'm currently using a ChrisVH-like Cat5 speaker cable. I compared them to Kimber 8tc very favorably.


My cables are 15 feet long. No trouble with oscillation with my BEL1001. I used a square block with holes drilled into the corners to twist 4 twisted pairs into a single cable. I did this 6 times yielding 6 cables consisting of 4 twisted pairs each. I then took two of those and twisted them together, leaving 3 cable of 8 pairs each. I then braided those three.


I used to have shorter cables and used the original ChrisVH braided design. It is almost impossible to braid cables longer that 8 feet. However, my easy-construction version sounds just a good.


I'm very pleased with the Cat5. Be sure to get the teflon coated variety- though. I'm also not sure how longer runs will perform with tube amps.


bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My cable run length is 6 feet (really a little less). My amp is an Audio Research VT100 MKII.


I am currently running Tara Labs 1800 biwire.


What cables were you using when you did your cables?


Any breakin time?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Lummus
I'm currently using a ChrisVH-like Cat5 speaker cable. I compared them to Kimber 8tc very favorably.


My cables are 15 feet long. No trouble with oscillation with my BEL1001. I used a square block with holes drilled into the corners to twist 4 twisted pairs into a single cable. I did this 6 times yielding 6 cables consisting of 4 twisted pairs each. I then took two of those and twisted them together, leaving 3 cable of 8 pairs each. I then braided those three.


I used to have shorter cables and used the original ChrisVH braided design. It is almost impossible to braid cables longer that 8 feet. However, my easy-construction version sounds just a good.


I'm very pleased with the Cat5. Be sure to get the teflon coated variety- though. I'm also not sure how longer runs will perform with tube amps.


bill
I made 3 of the CAT 5 cables from Chis V's recipe.

The actual instructions are THREE pairs braided. Then take three of those brades and brade them, THEN take 3 of those and braid them for a total of 27 pairs.


It's a lot of work (one of mine is 12' long) but well worth it. They sound fantastic.


I'm using them with a Denon 4802 and Diva 6.1's and a Diva C-3.
 

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I also made one of those CAT5 Chris V. speaker cable. I am using it as my center speaker cable. It killed my fingers making that cable, but the sound is awesome. If you have the money, you might want to make Jon Risch's 89259 speaker cable.
 

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I was using standard zip cable when I made my Cat5 cables. I was so impressed I bought some 8tc- thinking it would be even better. It was about as good, but not better. And much more costly.


I originally made the braid 3, then braid those, then braid those for a short run. It was misery. I tried to braid a longer run and- yawn- ran out of patience. I would rather buy 8tc than braid a >8 foot Cat5. My drill assisted method is excellent and I can make a 15' 24 pair cable in about 2 hours. As I mentioned- I can tell no difference in the sound but the capacitance is quite high and some amps won't be able to take it.


The Audio Research amp shouldn't have any trouble with a short run like that, and I doubt you'll have much construction difficulty.


I've never tried the JonRisch 89259. Construction is much easier, but acquiring the cable is more difficult. They are very low capacitance and are therefore great for long runs. I plan on building some someday. My next project are silver foils....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bill, please can you explain a little more how you used your drill?


Thanks.
 

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I first cut a piece of plywood into a square about 4-5 inches/side. I then drilled 5 holes- one in each corner and one in the center. I inserted a bolt through the center hole, and slid the wood block to the head of the bolt. I used an appropriatly sized nut to squeeze the wood tightly on the bolt. I then inserted the exposed threads into the drill.


Cut 6 length of wire to 50% greater than the length of the cable you desire. I tie on end to a chain link fence and strip off the jacket. There is no need to separate all the wires- they are twisted in a clockwise direction.


I then tie on end of the 4 twisted pairs to the chain link fence in a square configuration mirroring the holes in the wood block. The other end I tie to the block. Each twist should be in the opposite direction to the previous. Since the twisted pairs are in a clockwise twist in my Cat5, I first ran the drill in the counterclockwise direction (You don't want to put too much tension on the wires and if you continue to twist in the same direction the forces get pretty great). You should be left with a wire consisting of 4 twisted pairs which are now twisted together. Repeat this for all 6 lengths.


Next, take two of the above wires and twist them together in the direction opposite of the first twist. You should be left with a wire which is a twisted pair of the 4 pair wires (for a total of 8 twisted pairs in the wire). Repeat this three times.


Take the resulting three wires and braid them together. It's much easier than braiding the smaller wires. Seperate the solids and striped wires. Strip (the wire, not you) and perform a continuity test- this is the hardest part. Squirt some progold. Terminate. Viola.


I greatly advocate progold. Nothing is more depressing than spending time working on you wires only to have to reterminate them in six months because of oxidation.


If this is not clear, say so. I can probably make some pictures and email them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bill,


This seems more like a twist than a braid. Is that right?


If so, what do you think of braiding vs. twisting?


Also, if this is not twisting, a few pictures would be helpful as I just do not get a picture in my mind of how you did this.


Thanks.
 

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It's twisting until the final braid.


The reason braiding is important is to prevent individual wires from running in one area of the wire, like the periphery or the center. I have looked at my cables closely and believe that I achieve the same result- no individual wire remains at any depth within the cable.


The first twist is going to be symmetric around a central axis.


The second twist essentially creates another twisted pair, albeit a pair of previously twisted wires.


The third step is a braid- which we know evenly disperses wires.


My twisted-braided wires look much better than my strictly braided wires. They are also much easier


If you want to be a purist- and I did- braid everything exactly according to the ChrisVH recepie. That exceeds practicality for long cables and this was my solution. I estimate 80 hours of labor involved in making a 15 foot pair of ChrisVH cables. I'd rather stick my hand in a blender! :(
 
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